From the CEO's Desk

Mon 04 Jul 2022

RCCIWA Members Forum Wrap – June 16th & June 17th
Our first Members forum for 2022 was a fantastic event with a record attendance and over one third of attendees joining us for the first time. Our two day forum saw 26 member organisations represented with 50 people on Day One and 40 people on Day Two. Our Business After Hours, co hosted by Telstra Regional Australia WA and Accor Hotels WA was also very successful (and packed!) with a great mix of key stakeholders and regional business leaders with lots of first class networking and valuable conversations. We love our members and appreciate that everyone took the time our of their incredible busy schedules to attend. They all came along with a keen willingness to contribute strongly, connect, listen and learn which is why the Forum was so valuable and relevant to all in attendance. Thank you to all.

Below is a summary overview of each day. Comprehensive notes and issues papers will be sent to all members directly via email.

Day One Held at Hale House – advocacy and Representation
The purpose of this day is to meet as a collective with various Ministers and Members of Parliament to discuss issues of importance and discuss how we can work in collaboration to develop solutions. Our members came prepared, asking well considered questions as well as offering suggested solutions.

For all regional business communities there are five critical areas of concern in common:

  • Access to workers – skilled and non-skilled, there are simply not enough people in Regional WA
  • Critical Housing shortage – throughout regional WA there is simply not enough housing, and short-term accommodation and hotels are being taken up by workforce employees
  • Childcare – this is a multi-faceted issue; however, we know we have a latent workforce that cannot work to capacity as there is not enough childcare places in any regional locations, and in some towns, there is none.
  • Ongoing Impacts of COVID 19 – currently the impacts of people contracting COVID 19 are forcing businesses to close whilst they are in isolation or closing as they do not have enough staff to open.
  • Reliable access to broadband and telecommunications is still a long standing, ongoing issue

A big thank you to the Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC for generously hosting us for this day and for being our opening speaker. Minister MacTiernan genuine commitment to, and true understanding of the regions in very much appreciated and acknowledged by all of our members. You can view the full program here

Day Two held at The Mercure Perth – Operational and Strategy
The second day is our opportunity to share with and learn from each other. Whilst our members are all different shapes and sizes, they are all working hard to achieve the same objective – and that is to support, inform and grow their local business community. The purpose of this day is to hear briefing from key note speakers whilst also sharing operational and strategic initiatives to assist each other.

We were fortunate to secure CCIWA’s Chief Economist who delivered a terrific economic briefing. This was followed by the team of Caragh, Lisa and Karine who gave us an update on the SBDC’s key activities and policy priorities. Both presentations were very well received and extremely valuable.

You can view the full program here

There are so many benefits that are delivered from our Forum, but the one that stands out for me is that by bringing everyone together we are continuing to connect our amazing members and support the growth of a state wide network of regional business leaders. Our second Forum for 2022 will be held on October 27th and 28th and we have already started planning!

RCCIWA Engagement and Representation
The second quarter of 2022 was an extremely busy period for member and stakeholder engagement and representation. RCCIWA sits on many groups and committees on behalf of our members, which means we can ensure that the voice of regional business is always being heard in a meaningful way. Some of the highlights for the second three months of this year for engagement and representation include:

  • Held second RCCIWA Executive Committee Meeting of 2022 with Simone de Been being appoint President and Chantelle King being appointed Secretary/Treasurer.
  • Held our first Members Forum for 2022!
  • Held monthly RCCIWA Members meetings – held on the second Tuesday of each month at 10am.
  • Held monthly Working Together Meetings with our six coordinators.
  • Held fortnightly Grow Local Meetings with our Grow Local Program Manager.
  • Continued working closely with The President of the Manjimup CCI, Bevan Eatts as our representative on the Native Forestry Transition Group. Bevan is doing an incredible job representing the concerns of all impacted businesses and communities.
  • Foodservice & Hospitality Working Group – continued to contribute to this State Government formed Working Group (one of about 22) which is a part of the Government recovery program. A particularly important way to ensure the issues and challenges of our members are being voiced and heard. This is a very responsive working group that we contribute to monthly.
  • Participated as a member of the WA Advocacy for Consumers of Energy Forum (WA ACE Forum) which is a broad based representation of household and small business consumer views in a central forum, allowing issues to be raised and for consumers to share in the development of products and solutions for the energy sector.  
  • Attended CCIWA’s General Council meeting as a member
  • Continued to regularly meet with Stephen, Dan and Tom from JTSI to discuss local procurement, their local procurement workshops and the WA Industry Link Regional Communication Forums. We have a very engaged and strong relationship with JTSI.
  • Participated as an invited member DPIRDS Digital Inclusion Implementation Working Group
  • Attended CEDA’s event – Improving the Supply and Affordability of WA Houses
  • Participated as an invited member of DTWD’s Early Childhood Education and Care Job Ready Programme Steering committee
  • Participated as an invited member of WA Jobs Taskforce Group’s second meeting which had a focus on regional jobs. Was appointed chair of the regional jobs working group.
  • Travelled to Broome to MC the Broome CCI’s amazing Women’s Leadership Forum.
  • Travelled to Northam to attend the Northam CCI’s and the Wheatbelt Business Networks State Budget Breakfast, with keynote the Hon Simone McGurk MLA.
  • Travelled to Karratha work with our member the KDCCI on a range of Grow Local activities and events.
  • Met with nbn co CEO, Stephen Rue to highlight key member issues and feedback